Marlina has funded healthcare for 25 patients in 6 countries.
Sophea is a 5-year-old student from Cambodia. He has two older brothers and his parents are both farmers. Sophea is in the first grade at school, and loves to make crafts. At home, he likes playing with his brothers, reading books, and watching TV. When he was one-year-old, Sophea burned a finger on his right hand. Burn scar contractures have developed, tightening the skin around his finger. Now it is difficult for him to use his hand to hold anything, and he often feels soreness in his finger. When Sophea's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, they traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On September 25th, surgeons at CSC will perform a burn contracture release surgery to to help him use his hand easily again. Now, his family needs help to fund this $477 procedure. Sophea's mother said, "I want my son to use his hand well when he gets older in school. He will not be able to do many activities without his hand, so I hope this surgery is successful."
Khin Htay is a 26-year-old-Araknese woman who lives with her younger sister in Yangon, Burma. She is in her final year of university. Her sister works as a seamstress in a shop and earns 200,000 kyat (approx.200 USD) per month. Their parents and their eldest sister are rice farmers in Rakhine State. Every year, they sell half of their harvest to earn an income. Htay's sister in Yangon sends their parents money occasionally, while their parents support Htay's medical expenses. The income that Khin Htay's sister earns is enough to cover their daily expenses and pay for basic health care. In 2018, Khin Htay started to feel very tired and could not sleep well at night. She also experienced chest pains if she walked anywhere far. She took traditional medicine which helped her feel and sleep better. However, she continued to feel tired and experience pain. One day in 2019, a neighbor who has a heart condition, told her that she could have a heart disease like her; the neighbor had also experienced the same symptoms. The neighbor advised her to seek treatment at Pinlon Hospital in Yangon, where the neighbor had undergone heart surgery. She decided to follow the neighbor's recommendation and also moved in with her sister in Yangon for extra support. In December 2019, Khin Htay went to Pinlon Hospital to see a cardiologist. After receiving an echocardiogram (echo), the doctor told her that two valves in her heart no longer work and that she would need to receive surgery to replace those valves. The doctor also told her that because her condition is not severe, she did not need surgery yet. She received six month's worth of medication and a follow-up appointment for June 17th, 2020. When she came back for her appointment, she received another echo and an x-ray. After checking her results, the doctor told her that her condition had progressed and she now needed surgery, which would cost 15,000,000 kyat (approx.15,000 USD). When they learned about the price of the procedure, Khin Htay and her sister lost hope of ever getting Khin Htay treatment; they could not afford to pay such a large sum of money. When she told a nurse at the hospital called Sandar Ko about their financial situation, the nurse told her about an abbot who might be able to help her. The abbot heads Kyaung Gyi Parahita Monastery and is a partner of Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Khin Htay called the abbot and asked for help accessing surgery. The abbot then referred Htay to Watsi's Medical Partner BCMF for assistance receiving treatment at Pinlon Hospital. Currently, Khin Htay feels tired and suffers from chest pains when she walks a lot. She cannot sleep very well at night and she feels short of breath at least twice a week. To try and cope with her symptoms mentally, she prays or recites Dhamma. She also tries to help her sister with household chore such as cooking and sweeping. She hopes that she will be able to continue her studies after surgery and she would like to work for the government as a civil servant once she graduates. Khin Htay shared, “When I graduate, I will work and support my parents because they are getting old and they will not be able to work on the farm in the future.”
Thaung is a 57-year-old man who lives with his relatives in a village in Burma. He has two daughters and two sons from his previous marriage. He works as an agricultural day laborer earning around 17,500 kyat (approx 17.50 USD) in a month. This income is not enough to cover his daily needs nor pay for basic health care. One of his daughters, who works as a day laborer in the market, supports him partially. However, she is not able to give him a lot of money as she needs to support her own family as well. In June 2020, Thaung was working in the field. While working, his sandal slipped off and he stepped on a stick which cut the sole of his right foot. He treated the cut with traditional medicine but over time his right foot became swollen and painful. He also developed a fever and chills. He then went to a nearby clinic for treatment but he did not feel better. His friends then suggested that he seek treatment at Mawlamyine Christine Leprosy Hospital (MCLH). When Thaung arrived at MCLH, the doctor assessed his right foot and saw that the wound had now become infected and swollen. The wound also emitted a foul smell. The doctor diagnosed him with an ulcer as well as diabetes, and said he needed to receive surgery. When his daughter agreed to borrow money to pay for it, Thaung underwent a wound debridement surgery. Following the operation, he had the dressing on his wound changed daily. However, later on the doctor told him that he hand to undergo surgery for a second time. When Thaung told the doctor neither he nor his daughter could afford to pay for his second surgery, the doctor referred him to MCLH's partner organization, Burma Children Medical Fund, for assistance accessing the surgery. Currently the ulcer on Thaung's right sole is not healing well. He is also worried about borrowing any more money because he cannot earn enough to pay back a loan. Fortunately our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, can help. Now, they are asking for your help to fund Thuang's $694 medical treatment.
Elimlim is the oldest in a family of three children. He and his siblings depend on their mother because their father passed away in 2019. They live together in a single traditional Masai house made of mud, sticks, and grass. He is currently a full-time student and his healthcare would normally be covered by his university, but due to COVID-19 he is no longer receiving those benefits. In 2017, Elilim was hit by a stray bullet during a school shooting. Since then, he has undergone a series of surgeries to repair his fractured leg. Now, Elimlim has to undergo another bone transport surgery in order for him to walk again. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. They are requesting $1,500 to help fund the cost of his surgery and care. We need your help to cover the cost of his treatment. This life-changing surgery will significantly improve Elimlim's quality of life. "I will be happy to get well so that my whole family does not have to take care of me anymore," shared Elimlim.
Fred is a jovial 15-year-old who likes learning. He is a student at Mary Mother of Grace School in Laikipia and his family hails from Naivasha in Nakuru county. Fred is the oldest child in his family of three children. His mother is a housewife while his father works in one of the flower farms in Naivasha. In 2019, Fred's parents realized that his posture was not okay and he was taken to Naivasha District Hospital for checkups where he was diagnosed with scoliosis. He was then referred for advanced treatment to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Cure International Hospital. While being attended to at the hospital, the doctor suggested taking two MRI images which were very costly to the family who earns low monthly wages. After the MRI the doctor scheduled a much-needed surgery on Fred's spine (Posterior Spine Instrumented Fusion). The hospital bill is $3350, of which the National Health Insurance Fund has agreed to pay $1300. Fred is straining when standing and while sitting. After receiving the treatment Fred will be able to continue with his studies without physical straining and his posture will be normal again. “We are appealing for support from well-wishers to enable our son to continue with his life and studies normally. We will appreciate any kind of support,” Fred’s mother told us.
Bres is a 38-year-old rice and vegetable farmer from Cambodia. He is married with one son and two daughters. When he is finished working, he enjoys listening to music and spending time with his children. Twenty-three years ago, Bres had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Bres experiences dizziness, discharge, tinnitus, pain, and hearing loss. He is unable to hear others clearly and cannot communicate easily. Bres traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 9th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. "I hope that the ear discharge and the ear infection stops, and my hearing improves," he shared.
Esther is a 32-year-old mother of two from central Kenya. She recently separated with her husband, who left with all the belongings they had bought together for the family. Despite coming around from time to time, he does not support the family. Esther shared that she borrowed a TV set for her children since the one they had was carried away. For the last five years, Esther has been having abdominal pains; sometimes severe. She has been to many hospitals, taken many drugs but the problem persisted. Esther’s condition is becoming worse by the fact that she is currently not able to work due to a fall she had in 2017, where she hurt her back but feels better now. A friend advised her to try visiting Nazareth hospital. Our doctor ordered an ultrasound that showed multiple gallstones. He advised a cholecystectomy but Esther is not in a position to pay for this treatment. Before, she used to run a small shop but now does not work and depends on her sisters and brother for her family's basic needs. If not treated Esther may have complications such as blocked bile duct, pancreatic duct or even gall bladder cancer. “I request for help to undergo this treatment and God will bless you. I am confident I will be well and can’t wait to see myself back to my normal life and taking care of my children,” said Esther.
Sokchea is a 30-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. He has two sisters and one brother. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer and listening to music. Seven years ago, Sokchea had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Sokchea experiences discharge, infection, itchiness, and tinnitus. Sokchea finds it difficult to listen to others and cannot communicate easily. Sokchea traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On February 25th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. "I hope that after the operation, the infection and discharge will stop, and I will be able to hear more clearly again," he shared.
Chheng is a 50-year-old clothes seller from Cambodia. She enjoys cooking for her family, including one son and one daughter, and likes to watch television in her free time. For the last ten years, Chheng has suffered from swelling and pain in her left knee. She was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in her left knee and cannot stand for a long period of time, and now has difficulty walking comfortably. Fortunately, Chheng learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total knee replacement to relieve Chheng of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for January 6th, and Chheng needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. I hope that I will no longer be in any pain, and I will be able to walk well again and return to my work," Chheng said.
On May 28th 2019, Min was playing tag with his friend in front of his house, when he decided to climb up a tree. Unfortunately, the tree was slippery due to the rainy season, and Min slipped and fell out of the tree. At first, he was able to stand on his right leg, but he was not able to walk. When Min’s mother heard the news, she immediately came to see him. In the morning, his mother and grandmother rented a car and brought him to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). The staff at MTC then sent him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for an X-ray, which indicated that his left femur was broken. After they received the results of his X-ray, MTC referred Min to Watsi partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for help in accessing the treatment he needed. On May 31st, Min underwent surgery to place a metal rod into his leg. He was discharged from the hospital on June 5th. Within the past two months, Min returned to MSH for three follow-up visits. At his most recent follow-up, he was told his prognosis was good, and he was scheduled for surgery to remove the metal rod on January 2nd, 2020. “I feel normal again,” he said. “I’m no longer in pain. I can walk, sit, and take a shower by myself again. Before, I couldn’t do anything. I could only lay on my back and watch as people around me had to do everything. After my second surgery I want to work with my older brother in the factory.”
Nan Lay is a 22-year-old woman from Burma. She works as a medic at a clinic near her village. In her free time, she enjoys reading health-related books to gain more knowledge on the work she does. In 2014, while she was attending the medic training at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), she had a fever which was followed by pain in her back and her right abdomen. Although she had ultrasound done at the clinic, the result showed normal. She was just treated for urinary tract infection, and she felt better after five days. In 2016, she again experienced pain in her abdomen but this time was on the left side. She went to a clinic in Taunggyi, Burma, where she again had an ultrasound imaging test. The result this time revealed a stone in her left ureter. The doctor told her to undergo surgery to remove the stone but because she could not afford the surgical cost 800,000 kyat (approx. 800 USD), she just asked for medication. Since then she had a few episode of severe abdominal pain, and she went to different hospitals in Burma to seek treatment but the doctors kept telling her that she needed surgery. One day in 2019, Nan Lay ran into a friend who also had the same kind of health condition as hers. Her friend told her about the assistance she received at Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and advised her to ask for help there. Nan Lay then went to MTC, a partner organisation of BCMF. After confirming her diagnosis, MTC referred her to BCMF. Nan Lay still is experiencing back pain at the moment. She worries that her pain will increase when she has to travel. She has pain at her back and at suprapubic area, especially when she sits for a longer period of time and/or when she drinks insufficiently. Although she wants to continue learning and attending more training on medical and health, her health problem has limited her ability to finish her trainings. Nan Lay said, “After I recover from this condition, I will save money so that I can open a small shop, for my parents, to sell dry foods."
Said is an infant from Tanzania. Said is a handsome and cheerful infant. He has been in the hospital for some time being treated off bilateral club foot. He was diagnosed with the condition upon birth and treatment commenced a few weeks later. However, the mother and grandmother could not keep up with the cost of casting and manipulation. They were referred to ALMC where manipulation and casting were recommended. If not treated, Said will be at risk of permanent disability. Said's grandmother is the only provider in the family through subsistence farming. She further has the responsibility of caring for her other children. She is afraid that treatment for her grandson might be halted due to their finances. Fortunately, Said traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on October 11. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Said's clubfoot repair. After treatment, Said will be able to walk with ease and free from permanent disability. Said’s mother says, “I don’t want my son to grow up disabled but we are unable to afford the treatment cost, please help.”